Not all Reverse Interlinears are Created Equal

Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Comparative, General | 1 comment

With the advent of Bible study software tools, the ability to link the English or modern language text to the original Greek and Hebrew has increased exponentially. We now have not only traditional interlinears, where the text follows the order of the original language, but reverse interlinears, where we can read the text of the English Bible and the original language follows that order.

WORDsearch markets a Holman Christian Standard Bible that includes a reverse interlinear.

As shown below, there are many display options available. Original words can be displayed as they appear in the text or according to their dictionary form (with or without English transliteration). There is also an option to hear the pronunciation of the original term (lemma).

Logos 4 offers a number of reverse interlinear English Bibles (ESV, NIV, NASB and NRSV, among others). There are also Hebrew, LXX and Greek interlinears.

It includes the same display options mentioned above, but the NT has an option for displaying Louw-Nida’s Lexicon numbers, which is an excellent addition.

Alternatively, the interlinear can appear at the bottom of the Bible text, rather than inline.

Accordance 9.5 turns any modern Bible tagged with Strong’s numbers (ESV, NIV, NASB, HCSB and KJV, among others –including some in Spanish) or any morphologically tagged text into a dynamic interlinear, capable of displaying all the associated information.

It works seamlessly based on the modules available, and users can choose between a “traditional” and a “reverse” interlinear layout. Besides, syntax information is displayed.

The advantage, in this case, is that any Bible with Strong’s, as well as any tagged Greek NT or Hebrew OT (no LXX currently) can be displayed alongside the regular display fields, and that any customized layout can be saved and retrieved. This allows for an unprecedented flexibility and power.

This screenshot shows a reverse interlinear with four English Bibles, plus the original Greek text and Strong’s numbers.

So, as you can see, there are a number of differences (not so much in the layout but rather in functionality), between the reverse interlinears currently available in the market. At any rate, this is an important tool for those who do not know or aren’t proficient enough in the Biblical languages. The kinds of studies that can be performed with reverse interlinears nowadays are pretty sophisticated.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks, Rubén! I am glad you ran this comparison. I’m trying to figure out the best ways to use these, especially as I work with students who don’t know Greek and/or Hebrew.

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